Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: kettlebell deadlifts.
Deadlifts can be an intimidating move if you’re new to strength training. Before you jump straight to the barbell full of anxieties, start your deadlifting journey with a kettlebell. Not only will it allow you to easier chose a weight that works for you, a kettlebell is also better for building functional strength; its shape and size is more applicable to lifting in real life.
Don’t look away, advance lifters. Kettlebells are also still great for you – they can help you with form and grip strength in between your barbell sessions.
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What is a kettlebell deadlift?
A deadlift involves lifting a weight off the floor, extending through the knees and hips until you’re fully standing with a weight. A kettlebell deadlift is the same, so you’ll be lifting the kettlebell from the ground to around hip height.
The exercise is great because:
It builds muscle: it targets the muscles in your posterior chain, including your glutes, lower back and hamstrings.
It’s beginner-friendly: it’s a great stepping stone to barbell deadlifts, helping you stay injury-free while building confidence.
It’s challenging for everyone: there are loads of weight options and variations to suit any level.
It’s functional: kettlebells and deadlifts are both great for building strength that transfers into real life.
What muscles do kettlebell deadlifts work?
A kettlebell deadlift primarily targets the posterior chain, including:
- Lower body
- Transverse abdominals
- Rear delts
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How to do a kettlebell deadlift
- Place the kettlebell on the floor and stand just behind it with your feet hip-width apart.
- Hinge at the hips and slightly bend your knees so your hands can hang straight down to grip the handle.
- Engage your core and roll your shoulders back and down.
- Press through your heels to stand, straightening your legs and pushing your hips forwards to a neutral position.
- Hinge at the hips and bend the knees to lower the weight back down.
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